Sunday, May 8, 2016

Finding the Balance Between Blogging and Writing


I find it incredibly difficult to balance my blog writing with my personal writing. I love working on my blog, but I feel like I'm missing something when I'm not writing my personal project. Like I'm cheating myself. I know that blogging and working on my personal project aren't mutually exclusive, tons of you guys do it, but in my brain, I've created that divide.

I tell myself that I have to pick between them. Either work on my project or write on my blog. I remember hearing someone say "every word you write on your blog is a word you're not writing in your book" or something along those lines. I think I really took that to heart somewhere along the lines.

This struggle to find balance between projects is something that I've expressed before. In particular today I want to explore the balance between blogging and writing.


I blog because I love the community that I've become a part of. Perhaps more selfishly, I blog because blogging produces instant gratification. Usually, it takes me an evening (maybe two) to write a blog post. Start to finish, the post is completely done in a short amount of time. I produce, I post, I receive feedback (which thanks to all my lovely blogging friends, is usually positive feedback). When I blog my work is validated and I'm gratified almost instantly.

When I write a personal project, nothing gets validated. Ever. It takes months years for my writing to be finished, and even then sometimes it doesn't get seen by anybody. It's long, exhausting, but rewarding work. The reward comes from working on something much longer than a blog post and hopefully much more impactful than a blog post. However, receiving validation is not a regular part of this process.

That's why blogging is so important to me. When I blog, even if it's about silly things, I receive those boosts of confidence that I need as a writer. Blogging allows me to be a part of a community of other writers and even broader, other creatives who encourage me to pursue my craft. Blogging helps me learn how to express myself. Blogging lets me explore other points of view. Blogging makes me a better writer, of all forms.

So, is every word on my blog a word stolen from my personal project? Maybe. But I like to think that blogging makes the words that I do write in my book so much stronger.

Reading: Who Buries the Dead by C.S. Harris
Listening: My neighbour's central air running (ahem, it's a little early for that, if you ask me)
Watching: Avengers: Age of Ultron

16 comments:

  1. I toooootally get this. omg, it's a HUGE struggle for me. I cannot balance the two. If I'm drafting a book, I have to not blog (although I draft pretty quickly, so that's not too bad xD) but then editing takes me MONTHS and I always end up feeling stressed trying to balance the two. My brain only wants to work on one thing at a time. XD Which isn't bad, I don't think?!? We just have to figure out what we want to achieve.

    Buuuut, I DON'T think that blogging is stealing from your book-writing!! I consider blogging building an audience!! And I think that's super important for writers to do these days. Plus it's still writing and all writing is good practise. ;)

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    1. I think you really hit the nail on the head by saying that we "have to figure out what we want to achieve." Choosing what's important is one of the hardest things to do.

      Thanks or sharing your thoughts!

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  2. I'm also struggling with this. I'm also dealing with it in a similar way. I have exams coming up, that's why I can't really focus on my story so blogging is a quicker alternative.

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    1. Ack, school throws a huge wrench into the system as well. I know that feeling. Good luck with your exams!

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  3. I don't know, I've never really felt that divide between writing and blogging. I feel like they are both important because I get that feedback from people when I blog, which helps me become a better writer. Because if no one reads a post, then why? How can I do better in the future? How can I apply this to my personal writing project? And if a post does really well then I know that people respond to that and I can use those elements in my WIP.

    But I feel the pain for the immediate gratification vs years of work until (possible) gratification. It's quite frustrating to spend months/years on your WIP only to have like three people read it. *tears hair out* And it's much easier to spend a few hours on a post then get an immediate response. So yeah. Great post!

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    1. I find it really interesting (and pretty smart) that you look at how people respond to your blog posts and apply that to your WIP. I never thought to look at my blog that way, but it would certainly be a unique perspective. Thanks for sharing it!

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  4. I've struggled with the same thing, but I don't think blogging steals from personal writing or vice versa. Both are really helpful for one's writing career. Working on your novel is working on what will get you published, but you also need encouragement along the way and you need some people to read what you've written when you eventually get published. ^ ^ Both have their benefits.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. I totally agree with you. Both are good, neither steals from another.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  5. Yes! You may remember a couple of years ago I took a six month blogging hiatus because I didn't think I had time for blogging and novel and life, and I chose novel. Looking back, it was because I was having a blogging identity crisis and didn't know what I was doing, not because I didn't have the time, BUT I GET THE STRUGGLE!

    I guess at the end of the day we've got to pick novels over blogging, but I think there is so very definitely room for both. I tend to have a little evil voice in my head, that, when I've finished, say, 2k in a sitting, is like, "ah, but you COULD keep going, couldn't you? So if you go on Pinterest now that's time you could use to keep going? SO WHY DON'T YOU?" So for me I think it's about drawing a line and saying, I've written a bit of my novel, my time is now for other things and I AM allowed to do other things and not feel guilty that I'm not novelling. Also, it's impossible to novel forever. I know I never write more than 3k max, and I don't think there's any point pushing yourself into exhaustion writing poor quality work. So I think that the break blogging gives you, and it is a break a) because you're writing in a different style and b) because it involves less creative/emotional effort, is necessary, so that you can go back into your novel stronger. ALSO, if you didn't blog you wouldn't have lots of amazing writerly friends! And I think the other writers in the writing blogging community are my fave thing ever and they've made my writing so much better.

    That was a really long comment, forgive me!

    ALSO do you remember tagging me for a tag a long time ago? WATCH THIS SPACE BECAUSE EMILY'S CHILDREN'S BOOKS ARE COMING YOUR WAY! You thought I had forgotten, but a dragon never forgets, or ... something ...

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    1. Leaving a long comment is nothing to be sorry for!

      It's interesting to hear that your struggle between noveling and blogging grew out of a blogging identity crisis. I feel like that could be a huge underlying issue when someone is dealing with balance issues.

      I too struggle with the "evil voice," but I agree with you. It's not worth it to push yourself beyond your limits and turn out words that are useless.

      And finally, THANKS FOR DOING THE TAG!!! I WAS JUST OVER AT YOUR BLOG COMMENTING ON IT!!!

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  6. Ahh, I've struggled with the same thing! I love working on my blog, but it is time that I'm not working on my writing projects and it makes me feel... I don't know. Like maybe I'm focusing my attention in the wrong place, sometimes. But they both really are important, and I shouldn't feel like it has to be one or the other.

    Anyways, all that to say, cool post. I definitely relate. :)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

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    1. I'm glad that someone else relates to this struggle! It can be really hard to find the perfect balance.

      Thanks for the compliment and thanks for stopping by A Splash of Ink!

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  7. Agh, this is so me. I totally have no sense of balance when it comes to these things and it's hard. And sometimes it's worse, because sometimes I get so interested in that connection that I completely abandon my writing projects... But, oh well. I keep coming back to writing. I'll find a balance someday.

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    1. ME TOO! I've definetly abandoned writing projects for months to spend time blogging. Balance can be so hard.

      Thanks for commenting and commiserating with me:)

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  8. Just stumbled upon your blog and I have to say, your design and graphics are beautiful! Did you draw them?
    And yes, trying to find that balance is hard. (even though I've only just started a 'serious' blog, hah) But writing and writing and writing a novel without any feedback is also hard. Blogging is so nice just for the feedback reason. There are other humans out there! *gasp* ;)

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    1. Thanks for visiting! I drew everything myself.

      Blogging is so great for instant feedback. Good luck with your blog!

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